• Can Extended Family Keep Teens from Making Risky Sexual Decisions?
    NEWS

    Can Extended Family Keep Teens from Making Risky Sexual Decisions?

    April 2018

    WCW researchers investigate how extended family members can help teens make smarter decisions about dating, sex, and relationships.

    Keep reading>>
  • How To Be a Change Agent
    VIDEO

    How To Be a Change Agent

    Each person has systems in which they are privileged or oppressed. Once a person is aware of how they fit into a system, they can work to change a small piece of it, says Emmy Howe.

    Watch the video>>
  • Mother's Day
    GIVE

    Celebrate Mother's Day with WCW

    For Mother's Day, we asked our friends what they want the world to know about the women in their lives.

    Find out what they said>>
  • Women's Review of Books
    NEWS

    New Women's Review of Books

    March/April 2018

    This issue looks at books about Colombian painter and intellectual Emma Reyes, activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Khan-Cullors, the difficulties scholars of color face in gaining tenure, and more.

    Keep reading>>
  • Lunchtime Seminar Lineup
    NEWS

    Meet, Think, Learn With Us This Spring

    Spring 2018

    Our spring Lunchtime Seminar Series runs through May 10 and will feature thoughtful discussions on NCAA Women's Basketball, preventing youth depression, activism for scholars, sexual assault prosecution, teacher wellbeing, and child marriage.

    View the calendar>>
The Wellesley Centers for Women is a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College.
Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high quality research, theory, and action programs.

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Wellesley Centers for Women

Open Circle

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Ongoing since 1987
Social and Emotional Learning: Kindergarten - Grade 5

Open Circle provides evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum and professional development for elementary schools.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Growth and Scaling Grants Program for Social and Emotional Learning Program Providers

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Ongoing since 2013
Social and Emotional Learning

Funding will support refining plans for growing and scaling Open Circle to serve large school districts across the U.S.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Gratitude Project

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Ongoing since 2015
Open Circle

Open Circle will develop, pilot, and assess new gratitude components for its student curriculum and teacher professional development program.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Commentary: Let’s Talk about #Sex

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Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2016

By Jennifer Grossman Ph.D.

Think about it—in many of our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, there was little family conversation about sex. Often, for religious and cultural reasons, family communication about sex was considered taboo. Many teens did not know what sex was or how to protect themselves from pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This has changed in many families, as cultural expectations have shifted and there is growing recognition that teenparent sexuality communication can protect teens from early pregnancy and STIs. Many parents also have reflected on the potentially harmful effects that ignorance about sexuality had on their own teenage years and lived experiences. Parents now often commit to talking with their children about sex, breaking from traditions of family silence from past generations, as a way to support their children’s healthy development.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Commentary with Jennifer Grossman

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Let’s Talk about #Sex by Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D.

Think about it—in many of our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, there was little family conversation about sex. Often, for religious and cultural reasons, family communication about sex was considered taboo. Many teens did not know what sex was or how to protect themselves from pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This has changed in many families, as cultural expectations have shifted and there is growing recognition that teenparent sexuality communication can protect teens from early pregnancy and STIs. Many parents also have reflected on the potentially harmful effects that ignorance about sexuality had on their own teenage years and lived experiences. Parents now often commit to talking with their children about sex, breaking from traditions of family silence from past generations, as a way to support their children’s healthy development.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Recommendations: Quality Out-of-School Time

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by Ellen Gannett, M.Ed. and Elizabeth Starr, M.Ed., National Institute on Out-of-School Time


Quality Out-of-School Time Begins with Investment in Staff

As expectations for high-quality afterschool and outof-school time (OST) programs continue to rise, a skilled, stable and committed OST workforce is critically important. Yet supports for youth workers, and resulting staff quality, remain uneven at best due in part to a highly fragmented landscape. Compensation remains stagnant and opportunities for professional advancement and public recognition remain practically non-existent.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Recommended Reading for the Next President

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The March April 2016 issue of Women’s Review of Books (WRB) was quite different from the publication’s usual offering. Amy Hoffman, M.F.A., editor-in-chief, included a special section featuring WRB writers and some other favorite feminists sharing recommendations of what they thought the next U.S. president should be reading, in preparation for taking office. Additionally, Cartoon Editor Jennifer Camper illustrated the special section and added brevity with her artwork. The list that resulted is fascinating—and could probably keep even the most well-read person productively busy for the entire next presidential term. But it wasn’t quite what Hoffman expected.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Recommendations: Preventing Depression in Young People

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By Tracy R.G. Gladstone, Ph.D., WCW associate director and senior research scientist, director of the Robert S. and Grace W. Stone Primary Prevention Initiatives


Depression is Prevalent but Prevention Programs Are Limited

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide—it is the most common psychiatric disorder in the U.S., and is particularly common among lower income populations, and among women beginning in adolescence. The average age of onset for depression is 15, and about 20 percent of all people will have experienced an episode of depression by the end of adolescence. Youth depression is associated with a host of negative and long-term consequences, including poorer school performance, difficult peer and family relationships, increased risk of substance abuse, and poorer functional outcomes in adulthood. Of particular note is the connection between youth depression and suicide. Although not all people who commit suicide were depressed at the time, depression and suicidal behavior are indeed linked. Suicide is a tremendous problem in the U.S. and is the second leading cause of death among American adolescents.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Q&A with April Pattavina, Ph.D. and Linda M. Williams, Ph.D.

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Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2015

By April Pattavina, Ph.D. and Linda M. Williams, Ph.D.

The Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative

The Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative, led by Co-Directors Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., and April Pattavina, Ph.D., senior research scientists, was recently launched at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). Longtime followers of the Centers may recognize Williams, who was director of research at the Stone Center at WCW from 1996 to 2005. In that role, she led the Navy Family Study, a comprehensive approach to understanding the factors that affect successful and unsuccessful outcomes for Navy families involved with the family advocacy office, as well as the outcomes for adults and children exposed to domestic violence, child physical abuse, or child sexual abuse. Williams co-directed the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center and continued her research on the long-term consequences and memories of child sexual abuse. Pattavina comes to WCW from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where she collaborated with Williams and colleague Melissa S. Morabito, Ph.D., associate professor, on the national multi-site study of sexual assault case attrition through the criminal justice system that is described in the following interview. She brings an interest in applying advances in information and computer technology to the study of social problems. She has been invited to give presentations and workshops on the use of administrative data for policy analysis and received an award from The Boston Foundation for using data to drive community change.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Commentary with Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D.

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Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2015

By Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D.

Virtual Harassment & Bullying in the College Years

Given the immense public attention on cyber bullying amongst teens and that social media is intricately tied to adolescent daily behavior, it’s not surprising that the vast majority of studies on cyber bullying are conducted on youth under 18. A recent review1 found that the highest incidence of cyber bullying in youth occurs during seventh and eighth grades—incidence that increases from elementary school, but decreases into the high school years. One might predict that since cyber bullying wanes in high school, that in college it would continue to wane. It was only until Pew’s recent study on online harassment in 2014—which demonstrated that the cyber harassment rate in young adults aged 18-24 can reach rates as high as 70 percent—that we can now see that young adulthood deserves more attention, academic inquiry, and public scrutiny.